Out in the Fells this Weekend


Instead of driving out to New Hampshire, the Cedar St friends decided to hike closer to home and visited the Middlesex Fells reservation. We drove out to a roadside parking spot near Melrose, MA, and disembarked for the rock circuit trail. I used the Jeep to pull up on a berm to keep some distance from the other cars. It was funny to get out of the Jeep since we were up at a 30 degree angle. It was an enjoyable trek and we climbed a variety of rocky outcroppings. I was able to snap a few photos of the Boston skyline while up there. I noticed the Encore hotel and casino facing us in the distance. It was a good reminder to get out more often. The air was fresh and crisp even though we wore our face masks when crossing the paths of other hikers. Fall is definitely here now.

Sitting in my Chair


What a wonderful weekend here at 37 Cedar St. The whole gang of five was briefly here before one left to meet their partner. Yesterday I saw Ally when I dropped off a bike for her to use. We were able to socially distance our transaction. She is living on campus since her research obligations require it during these odd times with COVID. I am privileged to get COVID tests through MIT for my connection to the NRL. Tomorrow I will getting tested again before visiting the facility later in the week. Work at PSI is going well and I am learning a lot of new things from my coworkers. I found out that one of my colleagues is familiar with the great bakery Bova's in the North End since they live over there. I miss visiting places like Bova's. 

The bike I fixed up for Ally

the skyline from Tufts University

Sitting in my chair 1

Sitting in my chair 2

Sitting in my chair 3

Sitting in my chair 4

Learning Morse Code with Google's Learn site


It can be hard to get into a new hobby especially when there is a lot to learn and the learning slope is steep. I am learning more about amateur radio systems and the licensing process. One facet of the licensing process is a test. In previous years, the test included an evaluation of Morse code. This requirement is no longer necessary however the practice can be helpful in understanding some simple, analog transmissions found on the air (OTA). 

I looked online and found a nice, clean way to learn Morse code.

Check out https://morse.withgoogle.com/learn/

Book Review: For Whom The Bell Tolls


I recently picked up another Hemingway novel which I carried with me during the move to Boston. I appreciate his work because he follows a simple yet essential principle in writing good fiction; write from one's own experiences. In this novel, Robert Jordan is an agent in Spain sent to blow up a bridge at the start of a major offensive in the Spanish Civil War. Through a wild variety of experiences, meetings, and events we see how Robert's perception of the people and history of the land has changed.  

Hemingway himself spent a good amount in Spain during the war and began writing about it shortly after returning. As a reporter, he saw the worst of the ways in war. This tales appear to be projected into the characters of this novel and provide a sort-of second hand image of Hemingway's own experiences. 

One particularly interesting facet of the writing style in this novel is the way Spanish and English are used interchangeably at times during dialogue between Robert and his fellow guerilla fighters. Hemingway knows that certain phrases and emotions unique to the Spanish way of speaking are hard to convey exactly as they are in English. 

10/10, would recommend highly

Homemade Grape Juice


The grape juice was tart. The concoction lacked any significant sweetness in it. This was partially due to the fact that the drink had no added sugar. Beyond that, the solution was cloudy even though I filtered it through a paper sieve. I ran over to campus from my apartment in Boston. The wind sucked. All the way across the bridge my hat was down. Some other people did not care about the wind. They basked in it. Some people were on boats in the Charles. I suppose it's hard to get sick in a boat. Campus was mostly devoid although a few souls walked about on Amherst alley. I saw a bunch of PODS by McCormick Hall. These PODS likely hold the personal belongings of those who moved out last March, some of those people are returning. The grapes were growing in the garden by Next House that I help water and tend. I think some of the other gardeners don't care that much anymore as their plants are left to go fallow. I gave a homeless man some of the tomatoes I picked. I could not tell if they cared at all. I think they probably did not like tomatoes that much. Perhaps? Another man asked me for a light, I did not give them a tomato since I don't think that would have helped. I think I could make a mean grape juice with these wild grapes.

Keeping On and Self Care

I have not blogged in a while. In an effort to improve my focus or some sense of time separation, I have kept at working while at work (my wonderful new job) and relaxing while not at work. Blogging is not necessarily work but this act got dragged into the time between work during my undergrad. So now it must make time for itself.

I have been eating better and that is from Ally's assistance. Her and I have planned meals out and it has been working wonderfully. I am eating many more vegetables. 

My new bookshelf.

No oil inlet cap :(

Marigold seeds

Me at work

Book Review: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Last week I finished the novel from Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I was walking through the O'Hare airport when I found it. I had heard about the author from an old colleague of mine that was an upperclassman when I was a first-year student. I was happy with the physical copy. I sometimes miss reading books off the screen. This sentiment in my life is shared by many people but I like to reiterate it.

There seems to be some magical realism present in the story as the narrator casts the explanation of Fuku on a variety of things in the lives of the characters. By taking time to evaluate the basis of each member of the immediate family, we gain not only a better understanding of the struggles the family witnessed, but also the struggles that the entire nation of the DR witnessed during the period of the dictatorship of Trujillo. 


Out in the Fells this Weekend

  Instead of driving out to New Hampshire, the Cedar St friends decided to hike closer to home and visited the Middlesex Fells reservation. ...